Erika Ayers is the first CEO of Barstool Sports, the most influential sports, lifestyle and entertainment media brand on the internet. As a seasoned executive, Ayers has a proven track record of building digital businesses, developing culturally relevant brands, and pioneering distribution and monetization strategies.
Since taking the helm in July 2016, Ayers has led Barstool Sports through explosive growth, expanding the company from a regional blog with 12 employees to a national powerhouse with over 400 employees. Under her leadership, Barstool has become a top ten podcasting publisher in the US, with the world’s #1 sports, hockey, golf, and music podcasts. The company also drives 5 billion monthly video views and 216 million social followers, making it the fastest-growing sports brand on every platform.
Ayers has launched over 40+ brands for Barstool, including breakout franchises in sports, entertainment, female lifestyle, business, and sports betting. She has also led the company in generating revenue from multiple business lines, including merchandise, advertising, licensing, and experiential. Under her tenure, Barstool Sports has launched several successful products, such as Pink Whitney, the #1 flavored vodka, Big Deal Brewing’s super-premium golden ale, Pirate Water malt beverage, and Stella Blue Coffee.
Prior to joining Barstool Sports, Ayers held leading roles at Microsoft, AOL, Demand Media, and Yahoo. She has been named one of Variety’s Most Powerful Women, Forbes’ Most Powerful Women in the U.S. in Sports, Crain’s Notable Women in Sports recipient, AdWeek’s Most Powerful Women in Sports, and Cynopsis’ Top Women in Media. Ayers also hosts Token CEO, a business podcast within the Barstool Sports Network that she conceived and created. Overall, Ayers’ leadership has propelled Barstool Sports to new heights, making it one of the most innovative and successful brands. Erika currently sits on the boards of Axon and Premier Lacrosse League.